Martha and Mary Magdalene by Caravaggio was created in 1598. The painting is in Detroit Institute of Arts. The size of the work is 100 x 134,5 cm and is made as an oil and tempera on canvas.
Caravaggio introduced dramatic effects of light and shadow in his paintings and often used ordinary-looking people to illustrate religious stories. Artists from Italy, as well as from other European countries, adopted his style. In the sixteenth century a new emphasis was placed on Mary Magdalen’s role as a converted sinner. Caravaggio depicts Mary’s sister Martha, dressed modestly, reproaching her sister for her wayward conduct and enumerating on her fingers the miracles of Christ. This exact moment of the conversion was obviously a tremendous challenge for the painter because the change is spiritual rather than physical. (Read more in Detroit Institute of Arts)
About the Artist: Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was born in Milan. During the final four years of his life he moved between Naples, Malta, and Sicily until his death. His paintings have been characterized by art critics as combining a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting. Caravaggio employed close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as tenebrism… Read more